To analyze the various attempts by the North and South to ease tensions over the question of slavery in the territories.
1 class period
Give each student a copy of pages 78A - 78C only. Page 78D will be given out later in the period.
Begin this lesson by reading with the class the introductory paragraphs and the section on the Missouri Compromise. Students will then read about The Problem, Opinions of Northern Congressmen, and Opinions of Southern Congressmen that pertain to the Missouri Compromise. Give class members about five minutes to write their own compromise without knowing the real one, then have two or three volunteers read their proposals to the class. Continue in the same way with the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act.
This activity ends with students doing a Map Exercise on page 78D, which includes maps illustrating the actual compromises reached by the North and South. Students can use their textbook, and the information on the preceding pages, to find words, names, and terms missing from descriptions of each compromise surrounding the maps.
NOTE: The Map Exercise on page 78D can be given as a homework assignment. However, I always help the kids by going through it with them. I ask for volunteers to give the missing words, names, and terms in the compromise descriptions. If class members have trouble figuring out an answer, give them one letter at a time -- starting with the first letter -- until someone gets it.
Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included.